Day of the Dead

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Last week was a celebration of Mexican culture with Day of the Dead, which started Tuesday October 31st and lasted to Thursday November 2nd.  Day of the Dead is a special Mexican tradition to honor their ancestors.

Cesar Viveros, an artist affiliated with the Mexican Cultural Center talked about why different aspects of the holiday are important. He shared a few words about the festive holiday:

“So the big tradition is Day of the Day is a special day where we can always live with the departed ones.”

Saturday October 28th, the Mexican Culture Center partnered with the Penn Museum where they coordinated a Day of the Dead event filled with a variety of activities.

People from the community had the opportunity to learn about Mexican culture and the way they celebrate their ancestors through music, dance, jewelry and art.

Cesar Viveros said, “This year was dedicated to the victims of the hurricane that devastated Puerto Rico and the earthquake that devastated part of Mexico City and other cities around,” sharing the importance of the alter and what it represents.

Children were dressed up to be part of the day of the dead to commemorate their ancestors. They also made gifts such as flowers, sugar skulls and jewelry to present at the altar.

Temple students took the initiative to engage with the community, volunteering for the Mexican cultural center, assisting at the face-painting table.

Meztli Cardoso, the President of Asociacion de Estudiantes Latinos (AdEL) was face-painting while describing its significance. “The living dress up as the dead to connect with the spiritual after-world life.”

This event was a combination of fun and knowledge. Happy day of the dead.

Temple Hosts a Night of Healing after Student Deaths

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Faculty and staff at Temple University have been coping with the loss of Temple students Jenna Burleigh, Richard Dalcourt, and Cariann Hithon. In response, Temple staff organized “The Night of Healing” to provide support to their fellow faculty and students.

The purpose of the event was to provide a safe space for people who were affected by the three deaths that took place this semester, while also facing mid-semester stress. The faculty of Temple University encourages that the conversation continues.

President Richard Englert, was present at the event, providing support to affected individuals.

“This is an opportunity to showcase some of those supports and to give people an opportunity just to talk,” said Englert.

Students and faculty met alongside members of the University Interfaith Council, Counselors from Tuttleman Counseling Services, and members from Temple Student Government, providing a platform to help the Temple community understand the range of emotions they have experienced and continue to experience. These professionals further recommend to seek assistant outside of the event, reminding them of the resources Temple has to offer.

Student Nasir Mack says this was a necessary event.

“Spaces like these are very important,” said Mack. “It’s very important for students and it’s very important for faculty to have these types of conversations.”

Both sides shared their confusion, hurt, and anger. The reward wasn’t a solution, but an echo of empathy. Aminta Ghilyard, a Temple student, shared her feelings about the events leading up to “The Night of Healing.”

“It wasn’t one race; it wasn’t one gender. So, I think each of them unfortunately have their own unique-ness which is just really sad,” said Ghilyard.

Rob Fauber, a physiologist and professor at Temple explains that self-expression is important.

“The important thing is to simply be able to notice what your response is and how you’re feeling. What you’re thinking. What you’re questioning without necessarily having any particular judgments about that and then to be able to sort of share that,” Fauber expressed.

Temple continues to encourage faculty and students to take advantage of the counseling services the University provides.